Today is Tuesday, Feb. 19, the 50th day of 2002 with 315 to follow.
The moon is waxing, moving toward its first quarter.
The morning star is Mercury.
The evening stars are Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include British actor David Garrick in 1717; actress Merle Oberon in 1911; bandleader Stan Kenton in 1912; jockey Eddie Arcaro in 1916; novelist Carson McCullers in 1917; actor Lee Marvin in 1924; singers William "Smokey" Robinson in 1940 (age 62) and Lou Christie in 1943 (age 59); author Amy Tan in 1952 (age 50); actors Jeff Daniels in 1955 (age 47), Justine Bateman in 1966 (age 36), and Andrew Shue ("Melrose Place") and Benicio Del Toro, both in 1967 (age 35); singer Seal in 1963 (age 39); and Britain's Prince Andrew in 1960 (age 42).
On this date in history:
In 1878, Thomas Edison patented the first gramophone.
In 1922, vaudeville star Ed Wynn became the first big name in show business to sign for a regular radio show.
In 1942, the U.S. government began relocating Japanese-Americans living in coastal Pacific areas to internment camps located in remote areas of Arizona, Arkansas, inland California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. They were allowed to return to their homes in January 1945.
In 1945, U.S. Marines landed on the island of Iwo Jima, opening one of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific during World War II.
In 1986, the Senate endorsed the United Nations convention against genocide, 37 years after President Truman first sought approval of the accord.
In 1992, conservative candidates won South African by-election seen as a barometer of white attitudes toward President de Klerk's reforms to scrap apartheid.
In 1993, a Superior Court judge ruled that a gay group has the right to march in South Boston's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.
In 1997, China's "paramount leader" Deng Xiaoping died at age 92.
In 2000, Texas Gov. George W. Bush easily defeated Arizona Sen. John McCain in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary.
A thought for the day: it was Henry Ward Beecher who said, "Every charitable act is a stepping stone toward heaven."